Ten Things You Should Know: Super Derby
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor
1) The Super Derby is a 1 1/8th miles race on the dirt for 3-year-olds. The Grade 2 event is run at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana.
2) Run for the first time in 1980, the Super Derby was designated a Grade 2 in 1982 and upgraded to a Grade 1 in 1983. It was downgraded to its current Grade 2 status in 2002. It was run at 1 ¼ miles up until 2001.
3) A high value purse for a race restricted to 3-year-olds late on the calendar made it an attractive option for owners of the best colts in the country for much of its history.
4) The winner of the inaugural running in 1980, Temperance Hill, also won that year’s Belmont Stakes. Seven winners of the Super Derby also won at least one of the 3-year-old classics (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes).
5) A purse reduction in 1992 along with the downgrading of the race in 2002 has hindered its status in the last decade. The last 3-year-old classic winner to win the Super Derby came in 1996 with Belmont Stakes winner Editor’s Note.
6) Sunny’s Halo (1983) was the first of three Kentucky Derby winners to win the Super Derby. Sunny’s Halo crushed a field of six by 10 lengths. Sunday Silence (1989) and Alysheba (1987) also won the Kentucky Derby and Super Derby.
7) Tiznow won the Super Derby before winning the first of his two straight Breeders’ Cup Classics in 2000. Tiznow ran the 1 ¼ miles in a stakes record time of 1:58.84. His sire, Cee’s Tizzy, finished third in the 1990 Super Derby.
8) In 2003, Travers Stakes winner Ten Most Wanted won the Super Derby. His sire, Deputy Commander, also a Travers winner, won the Super Derby in 1997.
9) In 2009, Blame made his graded stakes debut in the Super Derby and finished second to Regal Ransom. Blame would go on to make seven career starts after the Super Derby, all in graded stakes, and only lose once more. He beat the undefeated Zenyatta in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic in his final career start.
10) From 1980 to 1986, two jockeys won all six editions of the race. Eddie Maple won it in 1980, 1985, and 1986. Laffit Pincay Jr. in 1981, 1983, and 1984.